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The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to hold hands.
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Ease Into the Contact
Many times guys are brought up with far less physical contact in their lives than girls are. Girls are taught it's OK to hug and hold hands and such. But guys are often taught that it's a 'bad thing' to touch or hug. Which of course is a bad thing!!
It's your job to teach him that touching IS ok and not a scary thing. Do this slowly and gradually. Lean against him when you sit side by side. Give him a hug hello and goodbye as part of your normal greeting. Grab his hand and lead him when you want to show him something. Don't make any of these into 'special meaningful' things - have them all be quite casual, normal things that two people do who are friends.
The more comfortable he becomes with those gentle touches, the closer you will be drawn.